Pinocchio Movie Review: Safer for Families than the Original

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The live-action Pinocchio is a beautiful retelling of this classic tale that will warm your heart without looking back at the gritty parts of the original and cringing.

Pinocchio was Disney Animations’ second feature-length film premiering in 1940. And as the saying goes, it was a different time back then. I re-watched the original movie to see how much was changed from the original story. I had forgotten just how much content that was really not age-appropriate was included.

Families will be happy to hear they don’t have to work about seeing a wooden boy getting drunk and smoking cigars in the 2022 version. While you still get the word jackass to contend with, the questionable aspects are far more tolerable. Of course, kidnapping (puppetnapping?) is still frowned upon.

Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio
(L-R): Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), and Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Disney’s live-action PINOCCHIO, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Cynthia Erivo, as the Blue Fairy singing “When You Wish Upon a Star,” is beyond enchanting. The design of her outfit and wings had me mesmerized. Aside from the song being a staple to The Walt Disney Company, hearing it again brings a smile to my face. Keegan-Michael Key embodies Honest John, the enthusiastic fox, to the point that I believe he may have been a shifty fox in another life. Luke Evans is almost unrecognizable as The Coachman at Pleasure Island.

Tom Hanks rolled all of his warm and fuzzy roles into Geppetto. As expected, he brings such zeal to the character that you become entranced with his love.

You’ll also find some great Easter eggs in Pinocchio, especially on the wall of cuckoo clocks. When they all go off, you’ll get a great nod to some of Disney’s classics, including Woody from Toy Story, which is a charming nod for Tom Hanks, who voiced the character.

Tom Hanks as Geppetto
(L-R): Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), Tom Hanks as Geppetto, and Figaro in Disney’s live-action PINOCCHIO, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pinocchio changes up some of the language in the film to modernize it for a new generation, like being an influencer or the mention of the irony of everything happening to Pinocchio in one day. I’ll admit it took me out of the story slightly, but I was able to jump back in with the addition of some new songs and characters.

The ending is the only aspect that I was disappointed with. The jubilee surrounding Pinocchio becoming a real boy is slightly lost. In short, the live-action film is a wonderful remake that a new generation of children is going to love experiencing.

Pinocchio premieres on Disney+ on September 8th.

PINOCCHIO ending
Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) in Disney’s live-action PINOCCHIO, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Academy Award® winner Robert Zemeckis directs this live-action and CGI retelling of the beloved tale of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy. Tom Hanks stars as Geppetto, the woodcarver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his real son. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide as well as his “conscience”; Academy Award® nominee Cynthia Erivo is the Blue Fairy; Keegan-Michael Key is “Honest” John; Academy Award® nominee Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the Seagull, a new character, and Luke Evans is The Coachman. A Disney+ Day premiere, “Pinocchio” will launch on September 8, 2022, exclusively on Disney+.PINOCCHIO

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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